Multi-Store Model of Memory

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  • Supporting evaluation of the Multi-Store Model of Memory
    • It was one of the first models of memory to provide a systematic account of the structures and processes that make up memory
      • Influential; led to the development of more sophisticated theories such as the working memory model
    • There is a lot research supporting the claims of the multi-store model's existence of different stores
      • Sperling (1960) - capacity and duration of the sensory memory is different to the short term memory
        • We can access 9 bits of information if we access if quickly enough from sensory memory, but if it's after 1 second it fades away
      • Miller - short term memory operates as a limited capacity store; it can hold 5-9 bits of information before becoming overloaded and displacing information
      • Peterson & Peterson (1959) - short term has a limited time span of around 20 seconds, and without rehearsal the information soon fades
    • Serial position effect experiments by Glanzer and Cunitz (1966) supports the existence of separate short term and long term memory stores
      • Participants recalled more words from the beginning (primary effect) and the end (recency effect) of a word list
        • This suggests that the earlier words in the list had been transferred to long term memory and the words later in the list were still in the short term
      • Terry (2005) tested recall for serial position effects in the recall of television adverts which supports earlier laboratory experiments
    • Terry (2005) tested recall for serial position effects in the recall of television adverts which supports earlier laboratory experiments
    • Case Study of Clive Wearing - used to support existence of different memory stores; Clive contracted a form of the herpes virus which damaged his hippocampus
      • This case of anterograde amnesia supports the msm as his stm had been left largely intact but he could not transfer new memories from his stm to his ltm
  • Refuting evaluation of the Multi-Store Model of Memory
    • Limited and simplistic explanation of memory processing; levels of processing approach
      • Demonstrates that information is not transferred to the ltm just through rehearsal; more sophisticated
    • Does not explain 'flashbulb' memories; clearly remembering highly emotional events
    • There is research  evidence refuting the claims of the multi-store model of memory
      • Wallington & Shallice's case study of K.F - despite a damaged stm, K.F could still develop new long term memories
        • His digit span (capacity in the stm) was nearly zero after a motorcycle accident; according to msm, this is the gateway to the ltm, so it should have been left impaired
        • Suggests that there is another access point to the ltm, though the msm suggests that there's only one
      • Clive Wearing case study - Clive could improve certain skills when practicing based tasks such as the piano (procedural memory)
        • Psychologists argue that there are different ltm stores, including procedural, episodic and semantic - ltm does not consider these
    • Despite lots of experimental support, most of the experiments were very artificial, eg. lack ecological validity as they include word lists, which are not valid indications of how we recall things in everyday life


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